On Saturday, September 19th, the UFC will be live from their Apex Center in Las Vegas for UFC on ESPN+ 36: Covington vs Woodley. This show has a massive lineup featuring a nine fight preliminary card.
Notable fighters competing on the preliminary card are Mirsad Bektic, Jordan Espinosa, David Dvorak, Andrew Ewell and Tyson Nam just to name a few. The massive preliminary card will begin at 5PM ET on ESPN+.
UFC betting sites have released their odds for the UFC on ESPN+ 36 prelims. Let’s step inside the betting octagon to examine these current betting lines, identify possible betting value or upsets, and bodyslam our picks.
Miguel Baeza was originally set to face Mickey Gall in a welterweight fight. Unfortunately, Gall suffered an injury during training and pulled out. Jeremiah Wells has stepped up on five days’ notice to take on Baeza in his UFC debut.
Jeremiah Wells is a regional fighter on a two fight win streak, but hasn’t competed in a year. Six of his eight pro wins have come via stoppage with three wins for submission and TKO/KO. He’s 2-2-1 when going the distance.
The unbeaten Miguel Baeza will make his third trip into the octagon where he’s currently 2-0. He last fought in May and defeated Matt Brown via 2nd round TKO. Seven of his nine pro wins have come via TKO/KO. Baeza is 2-0 when going the distance.
Due to the late replacement, there are currently no betting lines for this fight. I would expect that to change by the weekend.
As for the winner, Baeza will most likely pick up the win via unanimous decision. Wells has never been stopped before, but he hasn’t fought anyone to the level of talent that Baeza has.
Miguel Baeza vs Jeremiah Wells –Baeza (NA)
Tyson Nam vs Jerome Rivera
Tyson Nam (-175)
Jerome Rivera (+155)
Over (-105)/Under (+115) 2.5 rounds
Tyson Nam was originally set to fight Mat Schnell at UFC on ESPN+ 35, but that fight was scrapped as Schnell struggled to make weight and reportedly passed out prior to the weigh-ins. The UFC wasn’t able to find Nam an opponent for that event, but they did find one for this weekend.
Rivera will make his UFC debut on Saturday after earning a contract on DWCS last month. He’s won three straight fights and is 2-0 this year so far. Seven of his 10 pro wins have come via submission. He’s 3-0 when going the distance.
I won’t restate everything that I wrote about Nam for last weekend’s UFC event. But, I will say that he is a bigger betting favorite over Rivera than he was with Schnell. I also believe that this is a better matchup for Nam who should be able to show off his superior striking.
I expect Nam to pick up the 12th TKO/KO win of his career as he should pick apart Rivera until he finishes him off. Go with the Under 2.5 rounds (-115) as well.
Tyson Nam vs Jerome Rivera –Nam (-175)
Under 2.5 rounds (-115)
Fight ends inside the distance (-150)
Nam wins inside the distance (+125)
Darrick Minner vs T.J. Laramie
Darrick Minner (+245)
J. Laramie (-290)
Over (-125)/Under (+105) 1.5 rounds
Darrick Minner is a large underdog for this bout. He last fought in February and lost via 2nd round submission to Grant Dawson, but is 2-1 in his last three contests. 22 of his 24 pro wins have come via stoppage with 21 wins via submission.
T.J. Laramie is making his UFC debut this weekend after earning a contract last month with a 1st round TKO win on DWCS. Nine of his 12 pro wins have come via stoppage with seven by way of TKO/KO. He’s 3-1 when going the distance.
This fight is a grappler vs striker matchup with Minner’s submission arsenal versus Laramie’s superior striking. The key will be Laramie’s takedown defense, which he has shown to be strong in this area.
I expect Laramie to defend the takedowns very well and light up Minner on the feet. I don’t see this bout going the distance (-245), but I do believe it will just surpass the Over/Under mark of 1.5 rounds.
The betting value for this matchup is with Laramie winning inside the distance, which he should via TKO/KO.
Darrick Minner vs T.J. Laramie –Laramie (-290)
Over 1.5 rounds (-125)
Fight ends inside the distance (-245)
Larmie wins inside the distance (-120)
Andre Ewell vs Irwin Rivera
Andre Ewell (-210)
Irwin Rivera (+175)
Over (-265)/Under (+225) 2.5 rounds
Rivera will make his third trip inside the octagon where he’s currently 1-1. He last fought in August and won via split decision. Six of his 10 pro wins have come via stoppage with five by way of TKO/KO. He’s 4-3 when going the distance.
Andre Ewell is 3-2 inside the octagon and last fought in February where he won via split decision over Jonathan Martinez. 11 of his 16 pro wins have come via stoppage with seven by way of TKO/KO. He’s 5-2 when going the distance.
Ewell has showed inferior grappling skills in his two UFC losses. Fortunately, he doesn’t have to worry much about that in this contest as Rivera is a striker who doesn’t have any significant advantage over Ewell. In fact, Andre has a two inch height and seven inch reach advantage.
I expect this contest to be a standup battle where Ewell’s reach will be a major difference. I believe Ewell will pick up the decision victory by landing a higher volume of strikes especially with his jab.
Andre Ewell vs Irwin Rivera –Ewell (-210)
Over 2.5 rounds (-265)
Fight goes the distance (-245)
Ewell wins via decision (-110)
Randy Costa vs Journey Newson
Randy Costa (+120)
Journey Newson (-140)
Over (-120)/Under (+100) 1.5 rounds
Randy Costa comes into this contest as the slight underdog and 1-1 inside the octagon. He last fought 11 months ago and won via 1st round TKO. All five of his pro wins have come via TKO/KO. He’s never gone the distance in a fight.
Journey Newsom has had quite the roller coaster ride in the UFC. He debuted in June 2019 on late notice and lost via unanimous decision to Ricardo Ramos. The defeat snapped a six fight win streak.
He returned in February and won via 1st round TKO, but it was overturned due to failing a drug test as he tested positive for marijuana. Six of his nine pro wins have come via stoppage with three apiece. He’s 3-1 when going the distance.
This fight will most likely go one of two ways: either Costa finishes the fight off in the 1st round with his heavy hands or Newson weathers the storm and eventually takes over the fight before finding the stoppage.
I have a hard time picking a winner for this fight because either scenario is a strong possibility. With that said, I’m leaning towards Newsome winning.
Newsome has a solid grappling background and enough striking skills to hang on the feet and find the takedown at an opportune time.
If you look at Costa’s UFC debut bout against Brandon Davis in April 2019, he was taken down and submitted in the 2nd round. I can see that happening in this contest as well. Newsome will eventually score the stoppage win probably just Over the 1.5 round mark.
Randy Costa vs Journey Newson –Newson (-140)
Over 1.5 rounds (-120)
Fight ends inside the distance (-285)
Newson wins inside the distance (+110)
Jessica-Rose Clark vs Sarah Alpar
Jessica-Rose Clark (-225)
Sarah Alpar (+185)
Over (-355)/Under (+295) 2.5 rounds
Sarah Alpar earned her UFC contract by winning on DWCS 13 months ago, which was her last pro fight. She’s won three straight contests and is a big underdog for her UFC debut. Four of her nine wins have come via stoppage with two wins apiece. She’s 5-2 when going the distance.
Jessica-Rose Clark started off 2-0 inside the octagon with wins over Bec Rawlings and Paige VanZant, but she has dropped her last two fights and hasn’t competed in 10 months. Four of her nine pro wins have come via stoppage with two wins apiece for knockout and submission. She’s 5-6 when going the distance.
Alpar is a solid grappler, but she will be outgunned in a striking battle with Clark. I expect this fight to turn into a brawl that goes the distance. They’ve combined to go the full distance in 18 of 28 total fights. Furthermore, Clark has gone the distance in eight straight contests.
The betting value for this matchup is with Clark winning via unanimous decision at -115 odds.
Jessica-Rose Clark vs Sarah Alpar –Rose Clark (-225)
David Dvorak will make his second trip into the octagon as he debuted in the UFC on March 14th and won via unanimous decision over Bruno Silva. He’s also on a 14 fight win streak where most of that has come via stoppages. In fact, 15 of his 18 pro wins have come via stoppage.
Jordan Espinosa has gone 2-2 inside the octagon and is 1-1 in 2020 already. He last fought in June and won via unanimous decision over Mark De La Rosa. Nine of his 15 pro wins have come via stoppage with seven by way of TKO/KO. He’s 6-3 when going the distance.
This is quite possibly the toughest fight to predict for the entire show. Dvorak has solid submission skills and potent striking. Espinosa has strong wrestling skills and is dangerous in the striking department. These men really matchup well.
This bout will come down to mistakes and cardio. Whichever fighter fades late in this bout will end up losing the contest. After flipping a coin, I’m picking David Dvorak to win via stoppage sometime in the late 3rd round.
Jordan Espinosa vs David Dvorak –Dvorak (-110)
Over 2.5 rounds (-280)
Fight ends inside the distance (+185)
Dvorak wins inside the distance (+365)
Mayra Bueno Silva vs Mara Romero Borella
Mayra Bueno Silva (-245)
Mara Romero Borella (+205)
Over (-110)/Under (-110) 2.5 rounds
Mara Romero Borella has gone 1-4 in her last five UFC bouts including three straight losses. She’s also gone 0-2 in 2020 so far. Her last contest was in May and she lost via 1st round submission to Cortney Casey.
Seven of her 11 pro wins have come via stoppage with four wins via submission. Borella is 4-2 when going the distance.
Mayra Silva made her UFC debut two years ago and won via 1st round submission. She was out of action until March 2020 where she lost via unanimous decision to Maryna Moroz.
Four of her five pro wins have come via stoppage with three by way of submission. She’s 1-1 when going the distance.
For Borella, six of her eight losses have come via stoppage with two by way of submission. I see Borella suffering her third defeat via tapping out. Silva is just too good on the mat for Borella to survive a grappling battle.
Oddsmakers aren’t sure whether this fight will go Over or Under 2.5 rounds as they’re both listed with the same -110 odds. I’m taking the Under for this contest as I believe Silva will finish it off rather quickly.
I really like Silva’s odds of +155 to win inside the distance. That’s great value and a terrific return on investment.
Mayra Bueno Silva vs Mara Romero Borella –Silva (-245)
Under 2.5 rounds (-110)
Fight ends inside distance (-145)
Silva wins inside the distance (+155)
Mirsad Bektic vs Eduardo Garagorri
Mirsad Bektic (-515)
Eduardo Garagorri (+410)
Mirsad Bektic was looking to get into the octagon and break his two fight losing streak, but that could be in jeopardy now. As of this writing, Bektic is without an opponent for Saturday’s event.
Garagorri, who was also looking to get back into the win column, was forced off the card as one of his corner men tested positive.
The UFC is still looking for a last minute replacement for Bektic as they would like to keep him in the card. If something can’t materialize within the next 48 hours, I highly doubt Bektic will appear on this weekend’s event.
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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